A volcano on Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture erupted Wednesday, with a local weather observatory warning those within a 2-kilometer radius against pyroclastic flows and falling rocks.
The eruption at the Showa crater, the first since April 2018, was observed at 10:52 a.m., with plumes rising to 1,000 meters noted at 11:10 a.m., according to the Kagoshima Meteorological Office.
The meteorological office said it had detected a slight swelling of the mountain from around Jan. 14. Whether the movement is connected to the eruption is unknown, although the likelihood of a larger explosion increases when the swelling suddenly subsides.
The Showa crater is located on the east side of Minamidake and was especially active between 2006 and 2018.
Sakurajima is connected to Kyushu's Osumi Peninsula.